A chilling warning from Britain’s most senior A&E doctor: Tory winter plan could kill thousands

The Independent reports that the government plans to prepare the NHS for winter have been criticised by the UK’s most senior A&E doctor, who warned that inadequate provision could see thousands of people die needlessly this year.

Dr Adrian Boyle, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM), warned that plans drawn up this week are wholly insufficient, allowing for less than half of the beds needed to cope with the crisis.

He said that at least 11,000 additional staffed beds should be provided at hospitals across the country, while the prime minister has only pledged 5,000.

The NHS will also offer financial rewards to hospitals that hit waiting-time targets, which Dr Boyle said would mean they simply “game” the system and leave the most seriously ill patients waiting the longest.

The senior doctor said vulnerable elderly patients and the mentally ill would be affected most by the government’s poor planning.

Full story in The Independent, 30 July 2023